Friday, July 11, 2014

The Plantation - Stella Samiotou Fitzsimons

A century has passed since they arrived. Human history has been erased. Children are enslaved on Alien plantations. Some have heard whispers of the existence of a rebel band of humans who roam free in the forests. Most slaves dare not speak of the rebels for fear the mutant guards will grab and make an example of them.

It's one hundred years after the fall of humanity. Aliens have taken over the earth, enslaving humanity and putting them on plantations. Not all hope is lost, however, as Freya, Finn, and the band of escapee slaves who call themselves the Saviors are out there, training and waiting for the day they can start a revolution. While every Savior has some sort of superhuman ability given to them by alien testing, Freya is average, making her the weakest one on the team. Tensions rise as leadership is challenged in this struggle for humanity. 

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

One thing - I loathe to call it a dystopia; dystopia implies that it seems like a good world on the surface, but in reality it's horrible. This is not that, it's a bad world all around. 

This being said, all throughout the novel, I very strongly felt that I was reading a knock-off of The Hunger Games.  The plantations being numbered, different plantations specializing in different things, and Nya the archer genius did give that feel to it.

Unfortunately, the world building isn't as great as I wanted it to be. Most things are left completely unexplained, and it feels like a lot of the things that are explained are done so moments before becoming pertinent to the plot, so sometimes I felt that we got some vital world building info that would have let me further sink into the world Freya and co. were living in way too late into the novel, to where it felt much more like a plot device than an organic part of the world.

None of the characters really stood out to me, unfortunately.  I felt that Daphne and Damian actually had the strongest and most recognizable personalities, as well as the most character development.  For instance, if you were to remove all dialogue tags and context, leaving you with only the text within the double quotation marks, I would not be able to differentiate the different characters.  In fact, I would probably guess there being around five, maybe six characters, not twelve.  I understand the length of this book does not give room to fully develop twelve entire characters, which is why I think a lot of these characters are redundant and are only useful for plot's sake than anything else, which is sad because you're supposed to kind of feel like they're all family.

The writing was pretty good most of the time.  There are some glaring errors, namely missing commas and comma splices (though sometimes the comma splices made sense, whereas the missing commas did sometimes get in the way of the flow).  It was a quick read, and I never felt like the narrator only told me things, which was refreshing.

Forever upset about no people of color, nor queer people in this book.  Even The Hunger Games had POC, with Rue, Thresh, and even Katniss herself; for some reason, I get the feeling that the aliens only enslaved white people, and the rest of the population has been wiped out (yaawwwnn).  So, even though there were quite a few characters to juggle with, I never came across any descriptions that would put them outside of white.  Disappointing.

Overall I give this book a 3 out of 5 stars.  It's enjoyable enough, but there are a lot of issues that made this book miss its potential.

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